serendipity and stones and a little dance

seagull and serendipity

The first serendipitous happening of the day was the haar (Scottish word for mist that rolls in off the sea) and its silvery filtering of the sunlight. Then there was the seagull that flew by as I took the photo.

Inland we travelled, to bright sunshine and summer colours and the stones of Castle Fraser. I’ve made the picture below clickable to a larger version; to the left are two standing stones and to the right, in the distance by the trees, is Balgorkar stone circle.

standing stones and a circle

I thought we’d have to just view it from the side of the field, but no, some naughty person had trampled a pathway through the crop, so we did no further damage by walking it:

illicit path

Recumbent and flankers:


On to Castle Fraser itself, where I was meant to be doing research for writing on heraldry, historic dates and architecture. This took the form of running about taking photos:

Castle Fraser

Love the rooftop:


Then, after picnicking, with only half the day gone, we decided to head to ruinous Kildrummy Castle a few miles further on.

more serendipity at Kildrummy Castle - Ailish Sinclair, author

Serendipity again: in the reception was an old friend who I hadn’t seen for years. There was hugging and much talking. Other people got fed up waiting… but it was good. We kept saying it was amazing. My friend is currently doing a PhD in history, some of our conversation became spontaneous research. We finally moved to look round:

great hall

I do appreciate the use of the adverb ‘treacherously’ there; without it we might think Osbourne the Blacksmith to have merely made a mistake or had an unfortunate accident such as tripping with a pot of molten metal or dropping a freshly forged sword…


The day ended with a visit to Broomend of Crichie stone circle, Pictish stone in the middle:

Broomend of Crichie

This blogpost is ending in a rather unrelated way, with some ballet. It’s beautiful and romantic; only two minutes long. Scottish Ballet performing at the opening of the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow earlier this week:

You can watch the entire ceremony here on the BBC iplayer, ballet is 1 hour and 27 minutes in.

22 Replies to “serendipity and stones and a little dance”

  1. Beautiful. I wish I could go there right this minute.
    The Great Hall reminds me of a paper I once wrote on clerical court culture in early modern England. Lots of Great Halls there too. I wonder in how far Scottish architecture was different at that time.

  2. Darklittle: Yes, I want to go back too! Great halls were a bit of a must, I think in these huge buildings.

    Robin: I thought the choreography used the space well.

  3. Gorgeous photo essay! Now you’ve got me daydreaming about running away from Texas to seek our my Scottish roots… *sigh*

    ~Tui, @TuiSnider dropping by via #Archive Day on Twitter! ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. Beautiful! I love the castle. I love visiting castles and imagining how things must have been back then, and how much efforts were put to make that castle in the first place. I mean, just look at it! None of our modern buildings are as strong as such historical buildings, throughout the world. It’s amazing.

  5. Amazing to walk amongst the ghosts of yester-year – all that history and amazing architecture! If I lived there, I’d never get anything done – I’d just wander from place to place soaking it all in. THANK YOU for sharing – I enjoyed this so much.

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